Disclaimer: All characters except for Jean-Luc Phillip/Cora Irene belong Marvel; the latter belongs to me but was inspired by two Marvel characters. I am doing this for entertainment purposes, not profit. The plot and story are mine; please don't steal them.

Author's Note: This is an unhappy story. It is Rogue/Gambit, but it does not have a happy ending and is rated R for adult content. It's dark and contains death. Do not continue reading if this bothers you!

Inside and Out

I should have known this would never work.

Nothing in my life works the way it should, anyway. Why should this have been any exception? It always ends up the same way: in heartache and depression. I would run away, only I think that Remy would follow me, and he would probably know where to find me. What I want most is to be left alone. That's why I'm sitting on the topmost branch of a large tree a ways away from the house—I want to be alone. I know that someone always has an eye on me, though. To make sure I don't kill myself.

They should know better. I'm indestructable. I couldn't kill myself if I tried.

I sit with my knees drawn up to my chest and stare at nothing. Tears are filling my eyes. My eyes are almost always tearful lately. It's because I keep thinking back over the past year, and remembering over and over again the pain I've been through, and I just can't help but cry. It hurts when I don't cry. Sometimes I cry all day long, but I hardly ever feel better afterwards.

It all started a little over a year ago. Remy and I were sitting in the den, watching T.V. First, I would like to say that I've thought about it, and I love Remy. No matter what, I love Remy. It sounds so simple when I say it like that. But it's true. We've gone through so much garbage in our "relationship" that sometimes it feels like it's not worth it. But it is. It was. I love Remy and he loves me.

Anyway, Remy and I were watching T.V. We were feeling a little silly. I don't remember what we were watching—Friends or some other sitcom that involves love and sex (that pretty much covers them all). And Remy said something about how couples on T.V. rush into sex and serious relationships too quickly. He said that he prefers a slow relationship, to let things "simmer" for a while before putting them on the heat. Or something like that. Then he grinned at me. He can be so sweet. He was implying that he was happy with our relationship just the way it was--no sex, nothing physical at all, just love.

I smiled back at him, and then we kept watching. I didn't tell him, because he was so sweet, but I wanted a physical relationship. I wanted to grope and touch the way normal couples do. But we didn't dare even try that, not with my powers. I would absorb everything he was. When we kissed, I nearly killed him.

But I wanted to say something, and so I said, "What happens if the relationship can't ever be put on the heat, Remy?"

He gave me one of his charming smiles and said, "Den you jus' let it simmer some more, chere." He raised his eyebrows at me. I think he could sense that I was silently disagreeing with him. "Don' worry," he said, and took my hand.

Then, on the show we were watching, the subject of safe sex came up. The lovers were worried about pregnancy and other things, and they started using condoms. Then, after a long pause of watching the show, Remy said, "Rogue, I jus' thought of somethin'."

"Yeah?" I asked.

"Dis is goin' t'sound crazy, but...I t'ink we could have sex. If we wanted to."

Part of me wanted to laugh, because just moments ago, he had said that he liked his relationships slow. Of course, no relationship is slower than ours. The other part of me was dumbfounded. "What? How?" I asked.

He explained his train of thought to me. He'd have to use a condom, and all parts of my body would have to be covered—by a sheet or something. And we wouldn't be able to kiss (unless I wore a ski mask, which I wasn't about to). But we could be physically intimate. If we wanted to, he stressed.

I sat there in shock for several long moments, holding his hand. It was the next step. And, all of a sudden, I realized I wanted to take it. I leapt to my feet and turned off the T.V. "Let's go," I said. "Right now."

He agreed with me, but asked me hundreds of times if I was sure--and every time, I said I was. We went to my room, where I got out a pair of black spandex pants and cut a hole between the legs. He produced a condom from somewhere (I have no idea where). I put on the pants and a shirt to match it, and also gloves. And then it started.

It was amazing. Over the next month, Remy and I learned to touch without touching. I wore sheer, gauzy things (like a mesh bodystocking), and he discovered that if he wore gloves (the slick, rubber, disposable kind that doctors use), he could touch my skin. He made me feel so wonderful. The way no one else ever has before. We were always very careful, and we never once came into direct contact. But we had sex all the time.

Sex changed everything. I found myself loving Remy more and more, for coming up with this solution. I wanted to spend every waking moment with him. I realized that the past didn't matter anymore. I didn't care about anything that Remy had done. All I cared about was us, and now.

Eventually, after a month or so, we discussed things. Serious relationship things. And I told him I wanted to have a baby. Of course, that was impossible, since he always had to wear a condom when we had sex. But then I remembered artificial insemination.

Remy loved the idea. We were ready to be parents. We loved each other, we wanted to spend our lives together, and we wanted to create a child. We went to an outside doctor and explained to him that I had a skin condition. He was very supporting of us, and helped me to get pregnant.

Overjoyed, we told the rest of the X-Men. I explained how it had happened, through artificial insemination. I left out the kinky parts, though--they didn't need to know that. Most of the X-Men were congratulatory. Scott and Jean in particular seemed to be slightly disapproving. I think they thought that we should have gotten married first, or something.

Months passed. Remy and I eagerly devoted ourselves to our child. Hank became our doctor, and did regular checkups on me and the baby. It was developing fine, he told us. Remy and I bought an entire wardrobe for the baby. We spent way too much money, but we were determined to have everything perfect and wonderful for our baby. We took another room in the mansion. We painted it in pastels, and added baby furniture. We bought books and toys, and a baby monitor. By four months, we had the baby's life all set.

We talked about names. We agreed that the baby's last name should be LeBeau, since I couldn't remember my last name. If it was a boy, we decided on the name Jean-Luc Phillip LeBeau, after Remy's father. And if it was a girl, we were going to name her Cora Irene LeBeau (after one of my "parents", Irene Adler, or Destiny). It was all set.

One day, when I was four months pregnant with John-or-Cora (as I had taken to calling the baby), I went shopping. I bought some more baby stuff: clothes and toys and stuff. I was in the parking lot putting the things I bought in the car, when the most amazing thing happened to me.

The baby kicked me for the first time.

I touched my lower stomach, awed, and wished that Remy was here. I then became determined to get home as quickly as I could and maybe John-or-Cora would kick again, and Remy could feel it.

As I stood there, in the parking lot with my hands on my lower belly, I was suddenly awash with the strangest feeling. I felt more peaceful and calmer than I ever had in my life. I could have stood there forever, just feeling that sweetest peace and happiness, and the vaguest bit of trust. I closed my eyes and savored it, unaware of anything else in the world except for me and that feeling.

I opened my eyes again. "Huh," I murmured. "Where did that come from?" It was mostly gone now, almost as though it had never showed up to begin with. My hands were still resting on my stomach, and then a cold, sudden darkness hit me.

I couldn't feel anything inside of me. There was only a dead feeling. And I suddenly realized where that feeling had come from. I had absorbed my baby when it kicked me, and I had killed it.

A scream clawed its way out of my throat. I went to my knees in the parking lot and screamed and cried at the top of my lungs, holding the place where my dead baby was. I curled up on the asphalt and shrieked in agony. People rushed to my side, asking me what was wrong. I jumped to my feet and took to the air, leaving the car and the things I had bought behind. I heard people gasp behind me, at seeing me fly. I didn't care.

I got home in seconds and burst through the door, still sobbing. I collided with Hank on my way in. "Rogue?" he cried. "What is the matter?"

"You've gotta help me!" I bawled. "Hank, please, I need you to do a checkup on the baby! I think...I think I may have killed it!"

Shocked, Hank rushed me down to the infirmary, while I held my stomach and cried the entire time. I don't know what he did--I wasn't paying much attention--but finally, he looked at me, very grave. "I'm sorry, Rogue," he said. "The baby is dead."

I could go on for a long time about my reaction--about how I screamed and cried some more, and how Remy was devastated beyond belief. I could talk about how I locked myself in my room and probably never would have come out if Remy hadn't used his powers to blow the door up. It would be pointless, though, to talk about how I was so upset that I was numb, because it was just another month of the same. Of screaming, and crying, and pain and failure.

Hank had to do a C-section on me to remove the baby almost right away. He said that it took a lot of work, since I'm basically indestructable, and it was hard to cut me. But he did it. We had a funeral for John. He's buried in a graveyard nearby.

That brings me to now, and my disappointment with myself. I can hardly believe how I acted. Remy and I created a little person, out of love, to raise and love for ourselves. And I killed it. I never stopped to think. I only wanted to plunge ahead. I wanted to have a family so badly. I didn't stop to wonder if maybe my absorption powers worked the same on the inside of me as the outside. I didn't wonder how I was going to get that baby out (a C-section would have been difficult, though now I know it was possible, and if I had given birth the regular way, I would have absorbed it). I just took the leap.

So now I spend all my time alone, cursing my powers and crying over my lost baby boy. Remy is getting depressed too, but I don't know if he knows how I feel. He didn't know what happened to me. He didn't know that for one moment, I knew how the baby felt. I felt its peace and happiness. And then I destroyed it. Remy's upset, sure, and he's grieving badly, but he keeps trying to get together with me. To make me feel better, I guess.

But I don't think I'll ever feel better. I should have learned by now that this is what happens. Every time I try to have a normal life, or to do anything--get close to anyone--it all blows up in my face. My powers ruin it every single time. It's happened with Remy so many times before, and now with my baby. I loved Jean-Luc more than anything in the world, more than I thought it possible to love anything. And I killed him.

A small part of my mind kept saying that it had to get better eventually. One day I would wake up and I wouldn't cry from the loss I felt, from the ache of guilt and sadness, from the horrible empty feeling inside of me. One day, I would no longer feel guilty for it, and I wouldn't grieve so much. I would always grieve for my son, of course, but it would get less someday. But even as I tell myself that, I find it very hard to believe. Jean-Luc Phillip LeBeau was almost a part of me. I don't think that I will ever feel better again.